Friday, July 27, 2007

Who Killed San Francisco's Coyotes? Carl Friedman, SFSPCA, and SFDOG, That's Who!! - San Francisco's Dog Blog

We here at San Francisco's Dog Blog, along with many San Franciscans, were shocked and horrified that two coyotes were killed by our government. But unlike some observers, we aren't content to simply decry the slaughter: we want to prevent another immoral killing of wildlife in our city, and to do so we must determine the root cause of the killings. There are several persons and groups who share the blame for these tragedies, and the root causes are really no surprise--at least to those who follow the protection of San Francisco's animals closely.

Carl Friedman Killed San Francisco's Coyotes.

So who killed San Francisco's Coyotes? San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC) director Carl Friedman blames the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, which is the agency that actually shot the coyotes. Although Mr. Friedman made the call that ultimately led to the guns-blazing response to the coyotes presence, Mr. Friedman says he had no idea that the call would result in the coyote slaughter, and now declines to endorse it. But is Mr. Friedman's not-guilty plea plausible?

Only if you believe that Mr. Friedman is institutionally incompetent and ignorant of common practices in animal care and control--and although we here at San Francisco's Dog Blog are highly critical of Mr. Friedman's purposeful anti-wildlife activities, we have never found him to be uninformed (which of course makes him that-much-more culpable for what he does). The extensive literature on Wildlife Services within the animal welfare and control community explodes with outrage over the agency's brutality and predilection for slaughter, and it is simply not plausible that Mr. Friedman--a man who has run an animal control agency for decades--had no idea that his call would lead to the death of the coyotes. After all, destroying wildlife is what they do.

So if ignorance is no defense, why did Mr. Friedman make the call that killed the coyotes? Because Carl Friedman and the agency he runs is so singularly consumed with its domestic animal agenda--a political agenda, we might add--that, as we've explained here countless times, he has completely forsaken his duty to protect and care for San Francisco's wild animals.

Up to this point, Mr. Friedman's callous temperament towards wildlife has been most evident on issues where domestic animals impinge on the ability of wildlife to survive in our city (off-leash dogs harassing birds, feral cats killing birds and infecting sea otters, etc.) As editors who love our dogs as if they were our own flesh and blood, we could at least conceptually understand the moral quandary these issues might put a man of Mr. Friedman's position in, if not agree with his actions.

But the knee-jerk killing of these coyotes explodes any myth that Mr. Friedman is a man torn between competing animal causes, and shows instead that he maintains a perverse relationship with the wild, maintaining a vendetta against those who he cannot domesticate and control. Remember, this is the same man who brought us the innovation of Dog Court, ensuring that even dogs that maul a person in San Francisco receive some due process before they are muzzled or euthanized. Yet for wildlife he shows no such compassion or commitment to process: he pushed the domino that any competent animal control officer knows will inevitably lead to acute lead poisoning of wildlife.

Mr. Friedman's relationship with nature is better suited for the 19th Century, as he consistently uses 19th Century tactics to deal with wildlife. It is a deadly, morally bankrupt choice for a man with 21st Century power and responsibilities.

SFSPCA Killed San Francisco's Coyotes.

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to [domestic] Animals (SFSPCA) is another group that shares blame for the killings. How is that, you might ask? Because the SFSPCA runs a program promoting feral cat hoarding on public lands, which in turn leads to wild animals being indirectly fed by individuals who would be arrested if they conducted this behavior in their homes.

Of course we are talking about the SFSPCA's trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for feral cats. Now we here at San Francisco's Dog Blog are all for reducing the number of feral cats in San Francisco by the most humane method possible, not only because we are pro-wildlife, but also because feral cats lead lives of unimaginable hardship. The problem with the SFSPCA's program is that it isn't designed with the goal of reducing the feral cat population to zero, but sustaining the population so that its mentally-deranged volunteers--and animal hoarding is a mental disease--can continue hoarding animals on public property in perpetuity.

How can we make such bold claims? Because in order for a TNR program to succeed, two things must occur: (1) an exceptionally high percentage of the entire feral cat population--not just animals associated with an individual colony--must be trapped and neutered before populations can stabilize, let alone decline, because cats, of course, breed like cats; and (2) food subsides must be eliminated. The SFSPCA has absolutely no evidence that it is capturing enough cats to make the program effective: as famously made clear before the Animal Welfare and Control Commission last year, The SFSPCA keeps no data on a population level, and only looks at colonies, which are known to be transient, to try and promote the program's effectiveness. But moreover, it is a central tenet of the program that the cat-hoarding volunteers feed the cats by leaving food out for the animals in our parks, increasing the feral cats' carrying capacity and ensuring the population's growth.

And more pertinently to this post, the food that is left out is also eaten by wild animals. Opossums, skunks, and yes, coyotes eat the food left out by animal hoarders participating in this failed program, eliminating their wildness and bringing these animals closer to the dangerous end of a Wildlife Services' rifle. Even Captain Vicki Guldbech of ACC recognized this, stating in the Chronicle last year that "[i]f people leave out dog and cat food, [the coyotes] will keep eating it and they will not hunt."

The SFSPCA, by consistently ignoring scientific evidence on TNR programs and promoting the feeding of wild animals through its failed TNR program helped kill these coyotes, and the group should be held responsible.

SF DOG Killed San Francisco's Coyotes.

Last, but not least, San Francisco DOG killed San Francisco's coyotes. How is that, you ask? An answer to this question can be found in a close examination of the last acts of these coyotes in Golden Gate Park.

San Francisco contains an exceptionally large number of safe, legal off-leash dog parks: at least 28, and in a city that is only seven square miles, that gives San Francisco the highest density of dog parks of any city in the Nation, probably the world. San Francisco has more off-leash dog parks than Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles COMBINED.

Yet anti-leash groups like SF DOG aren't satisfied. They continue to claim that there is not enough space for off-leash dogs to roam in San Francisco, despite the evidence. Indeed, on July 26, Sally Stephens, the self-appointed leader of the anti-leash organization, sent an e-mail missive demanding even more off-leash areas in San Francisco's parks, and attacking San Francisco's award-winning and progressive Natural Areas Program because it doesn't adhere to her anti-leash philosophy.

So SF DOG advocates disobedience of the leash law everywhere in San Francisco. Which is precisely what this woman who claims her Rhodesian ridgeback was attacked by coyotes was doing, walking her dog off-leash in a portion of Golden Gate Park where off-leash dogs aren't allowed.

But you read that the dogs were on-leash, didn't you? Of course you did: any person caught in such a situation must say so to the authorities in order to avoid a substantial fine. But for those who frequent this area, they know that the woman is lying: she walks her dogs regularly off-leash in these areas, often to the consternation of other dog-owners, and the odds are long that the one day her dog interacts with a coyote it was on-leash. Even her own alibi indicates that her dog was off-leash: there is no way a dog on-leash can run "12-feet" from its owner towards a dangerous situation, even on a flexi-leash, before being recalled. Moreover, there is no way that a coyote, a relatively small animal, would attack two Rhodesian ridgebacks leashed to a human. It simply doesn't happen like that.

If SF DOG weren't so single minded, it would stop its anti-leash agenda and work for the betterment of all animals. By promoting an ideology where flouting leash laws is OK, SF DOG bears responsibility for the demise of these coyotes.

Carl Friedman. SFSPCA. SF DOG. These three entities have been the source of much mischief for our dogs and their wild cousins. It is time for reform. It may be too late for these coyotes, but we can still honor their memory by changing the way this cabal does business in the City of St. Francis.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Study Says Off-Leash Dogs Prevent Asians and Latinos from Using GGNRA

Sometimes it hits you from a completely unexpected angle. That's when you know you're in trouble.

And so it is for the irresponsible dog owners in San Francisco. In addition to a record of siding with the Ku Klux Klan, they've now got a study showing that off-leash dogs are actually inhibiting ethnic minority groups, primarily Asians and Latinos, from using the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

To be sure, this isn't the only--and not even the most important--reason that ethinc minorities feel excluded and unwanted at the GGNRA. Yet the study's "Major results and findings" state:

Dogs as problems were mentioned by all Latino and Asian groups. For example, dogs off-leash create fear. Dog owners not picking up feces in fields, on trails and beaches, and picnic areas reduce enjoyment of the experience. Latinos, overall, expressed concern about dog owners “not caring” or lacking control (e.g., owners assume other people will like their dog as much as they do; allowing dogs to approach other people without their permission; dogs begging for food and owners not retracting them).

Who would have thought that leash law enforcement was not only good for our pets, but also social equity?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Here's Mud in Your (last) Eye, SFSPCA - San Francisco's Dog Blog

San Francisco's explosion of unsafe off-leash dog parks is one of the biggest pet-peeves of the editors here at San Francisco's Dog Blog. Thoughtless design, poor placement, and a lack of enforceable regulations protecting our dogs characterize nearly every off-leash dog play area in San Francisco.

These unsafe places are a product of what we have grown to call the "irresponsible-dog-ownership ideology." This odd ideology is a mix of libertarianism (rather than modern liberalism), animal rights (rather than welfare), and privilege (rather than responsibility), and has resulted in San Francisco becoming the center of the backlash against dogs in parks.

Ironically, and as described here in previous posts, this ideology--and by extension, irresponsible dog ownership--is primarily pushed by SFDOG and the SFSPCA, and it is these organizations more than any other entity that bear the brunt of responsibility for the harm the irresponsible-dog-ownership ideology has burdened our animals with.

We write this now because we recently learned of another dog attack at one of San Francisco's unsafe dog play areas, and this one was particularly gruesome, although thankfully not fatal. We hesitate to post it here, but feel obligated to forewarn all of San Francisco's dog owners about what SFSPCA and SFDOG presumably feel are acceptable risks for your dog at our parks:

My Boston Lost his eye on sat
Tue May 29, 2007 7:51 am (PST)

FYI my boston [sic] terrier was bitten on Sat by a large female black dog named Raisin (possibly a pit mix but with large upright ears). It happened in St Mary's park. It was not a situation where the dog was just attacking and trying to kill (because she surely would have killed him). She took his frisbee [sic], he got mad and grrred and bit (no broken skin) at the side of her neck, she turned and bit him in the face. Unfortunatly [sic] and with great grief, I must report, she BIT HIS EYE OUT. He is recovering from surgery. Although Raisin's owners were concerned and kind and promise to follow up with specialized training, I want to warn you all that if they make the mistake of bringing this dog to a dog park again, do not allow your little ones in the park. Raisin is not viscious [sic], she is lives with a small dog with whom she is kind, but she does not know her own strenghth [sic] or have appropriate bite inhibition.

These sort of accidents need to happen: if we only had safely designed dog parks, including dog parks that have separate, enclosed areas for small dogs and larger dogs, we could reduce or eliminate these attacks. SFDOG and SFSPCA oppose these areas, preferring the "mixed-use" dog park, the special creation of the irresponsible-dog-owner ideology. Thanks but no thanks. We'll be taking our dogs somewhere else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Off-Leash Dogs Attack Grebe in GGNRA - San Francisco's Dog Blog

April 15, 2007 was a great day to be outside in San Francisco--unless you were an injured Western Grebe trying to recover in the GGNRA's so-called "wildlife protection area."

Bending to the pressure of irresponsible dog owners, the GGNRA has refused to enforce leash laws at the Park for many years. Although a putative leash law enforcement area was institute to protect snowy plovers within the GGNRA's Wildlife Protection Area and portions of Ocean Beach, the Park has abdicated its responsibility to enforce this closure almost totally.

A prime example occurred on April 15. A group of Golden Gate Audubon volunteers saw two off-leash dogs approach an injured Western Grebe in the Wildlife Protection Area. This act was a violation both of the Park's leash law and the Park's rules against wildlife harassment. When the Grebe hissed at the dogs in an act of self-defense, the dogs began charging and attacking the helpless bird:

The Golden Gate Audubon volunteers ran to place their bodies between the dogs and the bird, but the irresponsible dog owner showed no concern for the bird and refused to leash her dogs. As you can see above, she sauntered along as if nothing occurred.

Adding insult to injury, Park Police were called but refused to cite the individual for any of the various violations of national park regulations. The reason? They didn't witness it with their own eyes, and the eyewitness reports of several individuals--including one responsible dog owner who was appalled by the attacking off-leash dogs--were not considered sufficient evidence to take action.

If the GGNRA expects anyone to feel safe at the Park--including the GGNRA's wildlife--something needs to change. Instead the park seems content to not cite anyone, even in the Wildlife Protection Area, until its putative regulations--or the Park's wildlife--expire.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

AAA Andy, Boxer, the SF SPCA, and a Glue Factory - San Francisco's Dog Blog

"Burying the Lead" is a tactic journalists use to hide shocking truths from the public, by burying critical information in the depths of the reporter's blather. The editors here at San Francisco's Dog Blog were informed of a prime example of this tactic perpetrated in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle, and because it relates to irresponsible dog owners and the SF SPCA, we felt compelled to share.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2007, the Chronicle's Steve Rubenstein wrote what appears to be a puff piece about three San Francisco police horses that were being retired. In an elaborate public relations ceremony, Police Chief Heather Fong signed over ownership of the horses to the SF SPCA, which apparently cares for retired police horses at the Rocking B Ranch. Warm fuzzies all around.

But then 11 paragraphs in, after an incongruous topic sentence, the Chronicle dropped this on its readers:

As for AAA Andy, he hasn't worked since 2003, when he was bitten and seriously injured by an off-leash pit bull in Golden Gate Park, after which he threw his rider, Sgt. David Herrera. The sergeant was treated at a hospital for back and neck injuries.

And that's when it all came back. You see, the 2003 off-leash dog attack on AAA Andy was no ordinary incident. It was perpetrated by a long-time SF SPCA volunteer with a pit bull she adopted from the SF SPCA. Unfortunately the volunteer liked to let the dog roam Golden Gate Park off-leash illegally, which is where the trouble with this story--and the SF SPCA--lies.

Relying on the unscientific, ideological approach to dog behavior irresponsibly promoted by Jean Donaldson and the SF SPCA, the volunteer presumed that her well-trained pit bull could roam off-leash wherever she liked under the volunteer's learned eye without incident. So she allowed the pit bull to roam off-leash near Golden Gate Park's Conservancy of Flowers, which is not one of the City's numerous legal dog play areas. But as the Chronicle reported, she couldn't have been more wrong:

The pit bull mix that attacked a police horse in Golden Gate Park belonged to an SPCA volunteer who took the dog to senior centers to comfort the elderly and liked to let it run free in the park. On Monday, the SPCA volunteer, Anna Klafter, was recovering from a possible fractured skull and other injuries she suffered the day before when she tried to pull her 4-year-old dog, Nettie, away from the horse. The horse,which injured Klafter when it kicked her in the face, was trying to get its bearings back to the police stables in Golden Gate Park. The police officer who was riding the horse was getting over a back injury. And Nettie was at the vet, suffering from a gunshot wound and facing a police hearing on her fate.

At the time, Police Sgt. Phil Downs seemed exasperated by the irresponsibility bred by the SF SPCA. "This is the biggest hazard we face," Downs said. "We hear all the time, 'Oh, I didn't know that the dog would attack the horse.' "

Which makes the irony here quite Orwellian. Like Animal Farm's Napoleon placing Boxer's retirement in the hands of a glue factory, the Police have now placed AAA Andy's retirement in the hands of those who put the horse on permanent disability in the first instance.

"The horse is good,'' Sgt. Downs said the week of the accident. "The ill effects will be seen down the road. Unfortunately, a horse has a long memory.'' Apparently much longer than a human's.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Barbara Meskunas: Cull Coyotes for Off-Leash Dogs - San Francisco's Dog Blog

The Coyote, Canis latrans, is a close cousin to our canine companions, but with far better lore. Native Americans considered coyote as creator, trickster, culture hero, fool, and--not surprisingly for a critter with so many persona--as shape-shifter.

European colonists did not share this reverence. They initiated a gruesome coyote extermination campaign, and to this day Animal Damage Control--euphemistically renamed Wildlife Services when its activities became notorious--kills thousands of coyotes each year.

In the Bay Area, the effectiveness of the extermination is evident nearly everywhere, with coyote long absent but for eponym in places like the Presidio's Coyote Gulch and Fremont's Coyote Hills Regional Park.

But in the past several years, a miracle occurred: the coyote returned to San Francisco. Sporadic sightings were reported in the City, bringing hope and wonder to many San Franciscans, and giving the editors at San Francisco's Dog Blog the opportunity to see first hand the wildness that once defined our dogs. For example, in 2003, a lone coyote was observed repeatedly at Bernal Hill, inspiring a documentary about the resilience of nature and the coyote's importance in our world.

So it came as quite a shock to the editors here at San Francisco's Dog Blog when Supervisor Ed Jew's controversial legislative aid, Ms. Barbara Meskunas, informed the Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon of her intention to initiate a coyote cull in the City. The reason? To "protect []wandering cats, off-leash dogs, and small children," she said. "Only an idiot would do nothing when there are wild animals in the park eating cats and small dogs. Children will be next!"

Now, Ms. Meskunas' controversial antipathy towards San Francisco's progressive Natural Areas Program is well known, and when it was learned that her close ties to the City's most controversial land speculator, Joe O'Donoghue, was the driving force behind her policies, she was voted out of the local civic organization she had infiltrated because of it.

But of all Ms. Meskunas' histrionics, this might be the most hysterical. After all, the evidence is clear that if anyone should be running for cover, it is the coyote. The species is about half the size of your average Labrador or golden retriever. And given San Francisco's recent history, the coyote is far less vicious: the new millennium has already brought San Francisco the two most gruesome and publicised fatal dog attacks in the United States, while, according to the National Park Service's Natural Resources Chief Daphne Hatch--one of the most widely respected individuals in her field--there has never been a case in which a coyote has even bitten a person at the Presidio, Marin Headlands or anywhere else in the GGNRA. Let alone killed someone.

So if San Francisco's dogs are far more likely to harm people than coyotes, what's really gotten into Barbara's bonnet? Apparently it is the fact that the presence of coyotes forces her to reign-in her irresponsibility as a pet owner. According to excerpts from a widely distributed e-mail message sent in response to those who've complained about her hatred of San Francisco's wildlife, Ms. Meskunas claims that keeping watch of her charges is more than she can bear:

Let me begin by agreeing that my quotes in the Sunset Beacon appear to be alarmist. . . . They are accurate. . . . I do not personally believe [coyotes] should be allowed to roam free in a densely-populated city. . . . I have two dogs. Since reading and hearing about the coyote incidents, I no longer walk them off leash anywhere in the park at all . . . . I enjoy looking at the Park's buffalo herd, but I'm glad there's a fence between us.

Barbara Meskunas

The editors at San Francisco's Dog Blog believe that humility and compassion should be the cornerstones of our relationships with our animals. Unfortunately irresponsible dog owners like Ms. Meskunas remain too self-absorbed to have such a relationship, and therefore egomaniacally attempt to reshape the world to suit their whims. We hope Ms. Meskunas recognizes her responsibility to share our lands with our animals' wild cousins, but her rehabilitation should not come at taxpayers' expense. Call Supervisor Ed Jew at (415) 554-7460 or e-mail him at and demand that Ms. Meskunas be fired post haste.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Psycho Dogs, Their Cure, and the Demise of Dog Rescue - San Francisco's Dog Blog

This week's SF Weekly has a Cujo-sounding cover story, simply entitled "Psycho Dogs." Inside, the rag describes an experiment to find the genetic roots of behavior disorders in dogs. The article explains that UCSF's Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute is conducting a fairly laborious experiment to examine the dog genome and find the genetic traits that cause compulsive behavior.

This raises an interesting ethical dilemma: what then? Once we know of these genes, are we obligated to breed them out? If not morally obligated, should we anyway?

And most importantly: will the power to design a dog's genome from the ground up make people less likely to rescue mutts they haven't created?

In some ways, wielding this information will be nothing new: dog breeders have been defining desirable characteristics in their canine companions for centuries, and then selectively breeding dogs to enhance these desirable qualities.

Moreover, these kinds of projects will almost certainly discover some DNA combinations that are so deleterious that leaving them in the dog genome would be morally unacceptable.

But at the same time, something more is going on here. This genetic information has the capacity to eliminate chance, experimentation, even innovation in dog breeding, by giving breeders perfect control over the genetic content of every dog born. And because the power is not being used simply for physical ailments--but as the SF Weekly article explains, also to cure behavioral problems--we will be wielding this power in an area where human subjectivity can be pointed and dangerous.

No doubt we have an obligation to ensure that our dogs have an opportunity to begin their lives without genetic impairment, particularly since most of these impairments are caused by humans and our inexact attempts to shape our dogs.

But behavioral problems are not always so clear-cut. Indeed, the dog with the strong prey drive that makes it unsuitable for dog parks makes it precisely the dog needed for certain types of field research. If we eliminate this gene from the dog's code, will we risk losing more than we expected?

Indeed, we might even lose many more of the mutts we currently rescue, because inexorably tied to the power to remove bad genes is the power to create dogs from basic genetic building blocks. It will not be long until this power is harnessed by the market to design dogs for prospective pet owners. To be sure, the claims will be modest at first as the technology develops--guaranteed separation anxiety free, etc.--but in theory at least, dogs could be made to order like a build-a-bear. Will this opportunity lead to a decline in interest in rescuing mutts from shelters, dogs that don't come with the personalized design and guarantee?

Friday, January 26, 2007

San Francisco Dog Owner Group Defends the KKK - San Francisco's Dog Blog

Any dog owner who's been in San Francisco since the dot-com boom busted has seen them: self-centered, irresponsible dog owners refusing to consider how they and their dog(s) affect the lives of others. Emboldened by the anti-social philosophy of the SF SPCA and the single-minded, reactionary politics of San Francisco Dog Owner Group, these folks have flocked to our City, and they have single handedly made life for the rest of us more difficult.

Things are about to get worse. On January 22, 2007, Guy Clark, the gay African-American proprietor of Guy's Flowers in Duboce Triangle, had his storefront vandalized. This was no ordinary graffiti incident: the infamous "KKK" was tagged on his door.

The primary suspects of this hate crime are--you guessed it--irresponsible dog owners. According to an article published in Bay Area Reporter on January 25, 2007, Mr. Clark had been requesting that dog owners not, ahem, "spoil" the merchandise for many years. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Clark about 10% of them become combative when asked to mind the store, reacting in boorish ways:

  • Some have called Mr. Clark the "N-word";
  • Some have thrown dog poop on his door;
  • Others have questioned his employment status;
  • One irresponsible dog owner even harassed him while the police were taking the hate crime report;
  • And now the KKK-bomb was dropped.

Unfortunately in Mr. Clark's mind, there is no longer any way to separate out the irresponsible dog owner from the racist hate monger:

"I could see a dog owner getting very offended, a minority telling them to curb your dog," said Clark. "They feel insulted that a minority is telling them about etiquette."

When facing such a public relations fiasco, you'd think that the self-appointed leaders of anti-leash groups such as Sally Stephens of San Francisco Dog Owner Group might think twice before aligning herself with the dog-owning faction of the KKK. But apparently the siren-song of irresponsibility is too strong of a pull. In response to this terrible event Ms. Stephens found it in her heart to offer this bit of wisdom to Mr. Clark:

"'When a dog's got to go you have to find a place for it to go,' said Stephens."

Guy's Flowers was voted best flower shop by the two city weekly newspapers last year for Clark's low prices and lack of hard selling. Too bad Sally Stephens can't take a brake from her hard spinning and recognize that just because the KKK owns dogs doesn't mean she has to defend them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Irresponsible Dog Owners Behaving Badly - San Francisco's Dog Blog

Stanley Roberts must be one of the most brazen reporters in the Bay Area today. His KRON newshow, "People Behaving Badly," is a cross between Punk'd and the Chronicle's "What's Not Working" section: he catches people on tape doing obnoxious, illegal, and dangerous things, and tries to hold them responsible for their actions (or inactions).

This week's show was about San Francisco's Dog Blog's favorite topic: the irresponsible behavior of dog owners at dog parks. The report catches several folks walking their dogs in violation of the City's leash law; catches two dog owner's failing to clean-up after their pets; and notes that in the single park reviewed by Stanley Roberts, three off-leash pit bull attacks occurred in the past three months.

Oddly, the report calls this park a dog park, but also notes that leashes are required. We suspect that this is not an official dog play area, but because Carl Friedman refuses to enforce leash laws at city parks, most other users refuse to go there, creating the impression in Stanley's mind that this is a place set-aside for dogs.

Catherine Heenan's lead-in was brilliant: There's at least 1 park in San Francisco that requires dogs to be on-leash, she says! It sure feels that way to responsible dog owners who desperately need on-leash places to take their pets.